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Red Jewel Crabapple is a delightful small ornamental tree you can depend on for scads of ruby-red fruits to brighten the darkest winter days. This time-tested Crab tree consistently sets generous crops of fruit that cling to the branches well into the winter, decorating the tree and your landscape with pretty jewel-tone ornaments. If other food sources are available, birds may even leave the little crabapples alone almost until the cycle begins again in spring with sparkling white flowers galore. Adaptable and easy to grow, Red Jewel is a smart choice for city garden and performs well in clay soil (provided there is good drainage). It's small enough to plant under power lines, too.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
- Spacing: 10-12'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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Red Jewel Crabapple was a product of the Cole Nursery Company of Circleville, Ohio, near Columbus. Cole Nursery was a power player in the nursery industry in its day, but is now defunct. They’re best remembered for their Honeylocust selections that still corner that market: ‘Imperial,’ ‘Skyline,’ and ‘Sunburst.’ Red Jewel Crab was hybridized by the company’s owner, Bill Collins, in 1971. It’s still a popular choice. It has good resistance to the diseases that affect Crabapples, and it has the BEST fruit retention of any Crab you can buy.
This dapper little flowering tree makes a worthy addition to your wildlife-friendly garden. The fragrant white flowers keep honeybees and other pollinators busy in spring, and if Red Jewel's crabapples are ignored by winter-resident birds, then migrating songbirds returning North will gladly eat them up.
How to Grow
Flowering Crabapples grow well in a wide range of soil conditions and should be planted in a sunny area of your yard; they can tolerate very light shade as well. As with all trees, keep your newly planted Crabapple watered. Don’t keep the soil too wet, however, moist soil is fine. Crabapples also like fertilizer, the more you give them – the more they grow. Once a year apply a simple tree fertilizer during fall to help promote new growth and flowers for the following season. Pruning Flowering Crabapples is fairly easy. Prune branches after your Crabapple is done flowering and cut off any suckers around the base of your tree whenever they appear.
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